Lots of activity

There was a lot going on yesterday, all over the place. For one thing, there’s less of the ell now:

Ell - Roofless

Ell - Roofless 2

Ell and House

The two holes in the house’s old foundation are complete on one side. Once the ell is completely disassembled, the crew will make two matching holes on the other side of the foundation.

Foundation holes

Here’s Hyla, showing off her modeling skills while sitting on the steel beams that the house will sit on during the move:

Hyla and Steel

Meanwhile, on the other side of the yard, the concrete for the footings has been poured and the entire base of the foundation is now filled with gravel (for what, I’m not sure). The next pictures show the foam “Eco-Blocks” that will be used to build the basement walls. They assemble somewhat like legos, and provide very efficient insulation and water resistence.

Eco-blocks

Eco-blocks 2

If you’re curious, you can read more about Eco-Block here: www.eco-block.com

I’m told that today they’ll start building the basement walls and will complete (or nearly complete) taking apart the ell. Also, as of yesterday, the move date is now Thursday, Septmember 15. Save the date!

Home away from home

Here’s the little house we’re renting until we can move back into our house:

Rental House

It has all the basics: one bedroom, a big living room (with woodstove), a spacious kitchen, a bathroom, a laundry room, and nice deck. Even better, it’s just up the road from our house, so we can stop by to view construction progress every day.

It’ll go just fine, but we already miss our own house and can’t wait to be home again.

The big machines are here

Two big excavators arrived on August 31, as did the “steel”, the huge steel I-beams that will be slipped under the house to support it as the house is lifted.

Here’s a view of the littler of the two excavators, at the approximate location of our new parking area (this is taken from the current house location):

Excavator in the Woods

And here’s Phoebe checking out all the excitement:

Phoebe Explores

Along with the big machines, McKernon brought a crew of guys with steel bars, sledgehammers, and other hand tools. Their job was to take away all of the ell except the parts we’re going to move and reuse (namely, the posts, beams, and some of the nice boards). This is what the ell looked like partway through the day, taken from the doorway between the current living room and the ell:

Ell Demolition

And here’s the ell by the end of the day:

The Ell

Ell Foundation

Ell From Outside

At some point, near the middle of the day, one of the excavators came by the house and ripped the deck away:

The Deck in Flight

By the end of the day, the yard was transformed into a level plain where the crane can sit and where the house can be placed on its way to its final home. Hyla calls this space the “airport” because she can spread her wings and fly.

This leveling also exposed one side of the foundation of the house, where McKernon will create holes into which the steel beams will be placed:

Foundation Exposed

Where there’s smoke…

After more than a month-and-a-half of drought and a week of chasing Lee by phone (Lee is the man who helped dismantle the barn and was to burn it, but who doesn’t have a phone and is near impossible to track down), the barn is finally burned on August 21!

Barn Fire Smoke

These photos don’t do it justice. At times, the flames were two-thirds the height of the surrounding trees, but Lee knew what he was doing, and only one branch of a nearby tree burned slightly. Other than that, only the pile itself burned.

Barn Fire Flames

We could feel the heat from the house. The fire started around 8:30 am. The big flames were gone by noon. We could still see a glow that night. Puffs of smoke drifted out of the pile for several days after.